What Cables Should be Used in Wet Locations?
What are wet, dry and damp location?
The definition of a dry location according to the National Electric Code (NEC) is: A location not normally subject to dampness or wetness. A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction.
Based on this definition, standard Armored Cable (AC) or Metal-Clad Cable (MC) may be used in locations that may be temporarily exposed to the elements such as rain during construction.
Dry locations are not to be confused with damp locations which are protected from the elements and water saturation but may be subjected to moderate amounts of moisture. Some damp locations may include open porches, barns, under canopies, etc.
Wet locations occur in areas where direct burial in the ground, in concrete, etc may occur. These are areas where water or other liquid saturation is possible, or in areas that are regularly exposed to the elements.
Options for wet and damp location cable
Many questions center on what cabling products are approved for wet and damp locations. Type AC cable is approved by the NEC for use only in dry locations. In order to comply with the NEC for use in wet locations, interlocked Type MC Cable must have a corrosion resistant jacket and wet location rated conductors. A common style cable that is rated for wet locations is a standard MC Cable with a PVC jacket. AFC Cable Systems® offers Parking Deck/Lot Cable which is UL® Listed and rated for wet locations per NEC 330. Common applications for this cable include parking garages, direct burial, trenched and back-filled, swimming pools for pool motors and perimeter lighting and terminated in a pole base for parking lots and many more. PVC jacketed cable is also an ideal choice for locations where wiring is subjected to occasional dampness.
An added benefit to PVC jacketed cables is the ability to develop a custom jacket color to blend in with the installation environment. Standard jacket color is gray to coincide with parking garages to minimize visibility of wiring.
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